It could be argued that 2012 is as much the year of the fairy tale re-imagining as it is the year of the comic book movie (ex. The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises) or the blockbuster prequel (ex. Prometheus, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). We've no less than three expensive flicks based on European fables due out in theaters in 2012, along with a new original spin on the princess sub-genre in the form of Pixar's Brave.
Mirror Mirror, a reworking of the Snow White story, will be the first of those fairy tale movies out of the gate this year. But will it start this party off with a bang or a fizzle?
Indie filmmaker Melissa Wallack (Meet Bill) was first to work on the Mirror Mirror script and is said to have drawn inspiration primarily from early tellings of the European story, including those that date back some 200 years ago (a la the famous Brothers Grimm iteration of the tale). Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher) eventually contributed to the screenplay as well, helping to craft the film as a family-friendly adventure-comedy with more of a "girl power" flavor to it than traditional versions of the Snow White story tend to have.
Tarsem Singh (Immortals) helmed the $80 million production and shot Mirror Mirror entirely on sound stages, working with his frequent collaborators like Oscar-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka. Singh is directing a cast that ranges from Hollywood's (onetime?) rom-com queen, Julia Roberts, to up-and-comer Lily Collins, who was most recently seen in Abduction (but don't hold that against her...).
Check out some behind-the-scenes images of a scene in Mirror Mirror where Snow White (Collins) manages to blend in naturally with her wintery surroundings, while fleeing the Evil Queen's (Roberts) bumbling servant (Nathan Lane):
For more images, head over to THR.
That all sounds and looks promising enough - but does Mirror Mirror actually look good in motion, as opposed to just in images that show off Ishioka's imaginative costumes and Singh's gorgeous artistic style?
Well, if you've seen the Mirror Mirror trailer, then you already know: saying that this movie appears to be kind of overly whimsical and kid-friendly is putting it mildly. It's hard to not suspect that just about no one above a certain age is going to find this flick amusing - especially when early footage includes dwarfs cracking bad puns and popcult references, along with Roberts delivering hammy performance as the neurotic, beauty-obsessed queen.
Mirror Mirror being so overtly cutesy in style is kind of surprising, especially when you consider all the macabre imagery and troubling storylines that have pervaded through Singh's previous work (especially The Cell and The Fall). Anyone who was hoping that the director would deliver a take on Snow White more similar in tone to the Grimm version best move on; regardless of how good (or not) this movie proves to be, it won't manage to be anything but a light and frothy fairy tale re-telling.
Mirror Mirror opens in theaters around the U.S. on March 16th, 2012.